XenDesktop 7, Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012


As we launch into our XenDesktop 5.6 FP1 to XenDesktop 7 upgrade project, a rather precarious situation has arisen.  The environment is laid out as follows:

  • 2 XenDesktop 5.6 FP1 DDC
  • 2 Web Interface
  • 2 Microsoft SQL Servers
  • 2 Provisioning Services 6.1 servers
  • 2 XenApp 6.5 application hosts  (no desktops)
  • SCVMM 2012  connecting to Hyper-V 2008 R2.
  • All servers mentioned are Windows Server 2008 R2.

In the CTX136082 FAQ it is made quite clear that XenDesktop 5.6 runs only on Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2.  This means that we can use SCVMM 2012 only (not SP1) since the SCVMM 2012 SP1 won’t install on 2008 R2.  One cannot simply install or upgrade to SCVMM 2012 SP1 because that is only supported on server 2012, and XenDesktop 5.6 can’t connect to it.  In essence, there is (apparently) no “clean” way to do a seamless upgrade without incurring some sort of system downtime.  Our hope was to be able to accomplish this in a bit of a rolling fashion.  Since a Hyper-V host can’t be managed by two SCVMM instances, we can’t simply install SCVMM 2012 SP1 side-by-side.

Our plan of attack is instead to build a completely separate SCVMM and XenDesktop 7 infrastructure by breaking up our cluster, creating enough VDI to allow our users to connect to a desktop uninterrupted.  We’ll switch the users from web interface to storefront (with XD7), then tear down our old infrastructure.  Luckily for us we had the spare capacity to be able to remove a host from the cluster to facilitate a completely separate environment, but it seems like quite a gap in the upgrade process.   More to come…


Leave a Reply

0 thoughts on “XenDesktop 7, Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012

  • Justin Durrant

    Hey there.. just curious how your 5.6 to 7 migration is going.. we are looking to do the same and ran into the same catch 22 with System Center and Server 2012. 🙂

    • Atum Post author

      Hi Justin,

      We’re still in the process of validating our config, I’ve got more posts to come but its slow going (bleh!). To make matters a bit worse there was a bit of a mishap with an admin mounting the volume that had all of the XD7 LUNs on multiple, non clustered hosts at once..*poof* the entire environment went away. Still, with all the reinstalls and most of the trouble out of the way we’ll be ready to provision again soon.

      We also ran into a snag with our hardware order so we need to resolve that as well. Thanks for reading and check back, I’ll be glad to help out if I can or just be a shoulder to cry on (should you be using Hyper-V too we need all the support we can get – peh peh)